It is normal for flooring materials to expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold conditions. Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is one of the flooring alternatives people use in their homes and business premises. It is normal to have concerns about whether the flooring material will expand or contract; hence, introducing the expansion gap.
So, does luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring expand and contract? Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring expands and contracts when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. All-natural and human-made solids expand when they are in hot conditions and shrink when in cold conditions. In the construction of houses, an expansion gap is introduced to counter the expansion and contractions of flooring materials. Different flooring materials require different measurements of the expansion gap.
Most flooring materials will expand or contract when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. An expansion gap is installed to counter the expansion and contraction of the flooring material. Read on to find out more about Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring expanding and contracting properties, and if LVP flooring needs an expansion gap.
LVP flooring does expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. LVP tiles are made from vinyl, which is susceptible to temperature changes in their environment. When the temperature of the room goes up, the LVP tiles will expand. When the temperature drops, then the LVP tiles begin to contract.
Expansion and contraction of flooring materials is a natural phenomenon in the construction industry. The expansion is the increase in the tiles’ size when the temperature of the environment around them increases.
The contraction is the size reduction when the environment’s temperature decreases. It is important to consider the expansion and contraction of a flooring material before you purchase and install it.
The expansion causes the biggest problem in floor installation. When installing the tiles during a hot day, you have to consider the room’s temperature on that day and its average temperature on normal days.
If the day of installing the floor is colder than usual, the tiles will contract, and you also have to take into account the temperature on normal days. Expansion of an LVP flooring will cause lifting and buckling of the tile, and the flooring’s contraction will lead to gaps between the tiles.
Because LVP flooring expands and contracts, if not installed properly, it can easily lead to buckling. Buckling is a phenomenon where the floor expands, and the tiles move out of place, and when the floor contracts, the tiles shrink, leaving gaps on the floor.
The areas that tiles might buckle the most are the ones that receive direct sunlight. The direct sunlight’s heat causes the tiles to expand and makes the adhesive holding the tile in place to lose its strength, allowing the tiles to move. Once you have installed the LVP flooring, avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity in the room.
Expansion and contraction are some of the factors that affect the type of flooring you will install in your house. Some flooring materials expand and contract the most compared to their counterparts.
If you do not want a large expansion gap around your room, you should select the flooring with the least expansion and contraction properties. LVP flooring is one of the flooring materials with the least expansion and contraction properties.
LVP flooring also needs acclimatization before the tiles are installed in the room. Newly installed LVP flooring will shrink if not appropriately acclimatized to the room. You need to spread the tiles in the room and let the tiles acclimatize to the room’s temperature for more than twenty-four hours. Once the LVP flooring has acclimatized to the room’s temperature, you can install them, and they will not shrink or expand.
If you are not sure about the expansion and contraction of LVP flooring, you can consult with a qualified installer or the manufacturer. The manufacturer can provide relevant information about its product’s expansion and contraction and give you clear guidelines on how to install the tiles. It is also important to let a qualified installer fit your floor, it might look easy for you to do it, but a small mistake might lead to the whole flow needing to be replaced.
Does Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Need an Expansion Gap?
It is necessary to install an LVP flooring with an expansion gap. The expansion gap is an important gap fitted around the room’s edge and where the flooring meets a vertical object. The expansion gap allows for natural expansion and contraction of the LVP flooring. If you do not fit an expansion gap when the room temperature rises, the LVP flooring will have no space to expand, and it will raise or bend, damaging the flooring.
There are different types of LVP flooring with different expansion and contraction properties. The Loose Lay Vinyl Planks is a new innovative flooring material with a different installation mechanism than its counterparts. The tiles can be placed on the subfloor without any adhesive, and it will last long.
Loose Lay Vinyl Planks do not need any expansion gap. You can install the tiles close to each other, the wall, and any other vertical obstacle in the room. Loose Lay Vinyl Planks are designed not to react to all standard indoor environmental changes. Even when the temperature of the room fluctuates from hot to cold, the tiles will not expand or contract.
Another type of LVP flooring is Click Together Vinyl Planks, this type of flooring requires an expansion gap of about three millimeters to seven millimeters. The click-together vinyl planks are designed to give the floor a woody look and are waterproof. The expansion gap’s recommended size is the smallest compared to the other flooring alternatives because it does not expand a lot. You can use shims or spacers along the perimeter walls.
Maintaining the indoor environment is key in ensuring the flooring lasts long. Extreme shifts in temperature can cause damage to your floor. Even if you control the room temperature, the LVP floor will react to the smallest change in temperature.
Always maintain the temperature of the room between sixty degrees Fahrenheit and eighty degrees Fahrenheit. You should also ensure that the tiles are not exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.
An expansion gap is very important because it relieves the pressure from the heat expansion that affects LVP tiles. If you do not leave an expansion gap, the LVP tiles will expand and meet the wall or vertical obstruction.
Expansion of the tiles without an expansion gap on the floor will lead to buckling where some tiles will rise, and others will bend when they lack the space to expand. If you think the expansion gap might affect the room’s look, you can cover it using skirts.
It is a fact in the construction industry that many flooring materials do expand and contract. LVP flooring is made of vinyl, and this product will expand or contract when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. If you do not want to fit an expansion gap around your house, you can install the Loose Lay Vinyl Planks, which do not require an expansion gap.
An expansion gap ensures that the tiles have room to expand and contract. Most of the flooring materials react in the same way when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. LVP flooring will need an expansion gap; however, if you are installing Loose Lay Vinyl planks, you do not have to fit an expansion gap.